GOVERNMENT & POLICE NEWS

Memorial Day Activities Scheduled for May 30 on All Islands

Memorial Day is Monday, May 30, and the Virgin Islands Office of Veterans Affairs, the American Legion, the Survivor Outreach…

Audio Galleries

Half a dozen young people, local artists and music producers have created a peace song for Carnival 2014. To read more about the song, click here.
 

 
Currently:Click for Saint Croix, Virgin Islands Forecast

Source Picks

Junior Achievement Teams, Delta Airlines, VIPA Explore Careers in Aviation

High school students from St. Croix and St. Thomas participated in a “job shadow” experience on Thursday, May 26, at the Cyril E. King airport. Debra Ceronsky, a Delta Airlines’ station manager, initiated the program by reaching out to Junior Achievement VI. Rather than limit the program to just the airline, the team agreed to bring on the V.I. Port Authority (VIPA) as a partner and expose the students to the entire aviation sector.

READ ENTIRE ARTICLE
2016-05-30 16:13:05
Antilles Sailing Team Ties for Fourth in Nationals

The Antilles High School sailing team placed fourth in the Interscholastic Sailing Association’s Baker National Championship, which took place Saturday and Sunday in Anacortes, Washington. 

READ ENTIRE ARTICLE
2016-05-30 01:12:09
Virtue of the Week: Helpfulness

Helpfulness is being of service to others, doing thoughtful things that make a difference in their lives. Offer your help without waiting to be asked. Ask for help when you need it. 

READ ENTIRE ARTICLE
2016-05-29 21:50:04
Local news — St. Croix
CommentLog in or Register to CommentE-mailE-MAILPrintPRINT
Former NASA Astronaut on St. John

Photo courtesy of Chang Diaz.
Photo courtesy of Chang Diaz.

From his native Costa Rica to space, former NASA astronaut Franklin Chang Diaz has seen a lot in his 62 years. He’s on St. John to serve as the keynote speaker at Gifft Hill School’s Thursday graduation, where daughter Liz Kinsella is the school’s upper school dean, but Diaz discussed myriad topics with the Source.

His biggest concern is what will happen to the earth he viewed from above during his seven space shuttle missions for NASA.

He said that with the population estimated to be 10 billion by mid-century, earth will have no room for growth. Diaz sees space as the place to look for the future.

“The limits of the planet are quickly being reached. It’s a very bleak future if we don’t do something,” he said.

“There’s no way we can avoid expanding into space,” he said.

In addition to exploring space, he also scuba dives to see what’s below the surface.

“I have been seeing a great deterioration in the depths,” he said. “There’s a lot of trash in the ocean.”

Space exploration has changed since the astronaut first joined the program. He said that in those days, governments funded exploration, but today it’s private industry that’s leading the way.

“This is the wave of the future – working in orbit and on the moon,” Diaz said.

Speaking about what it was like to look at earth from above, he said it was the most beautiful thing he ever saw.

“It’s almost a religious experience,” he said.

Growing up in Costa Rica, Diaz, like many children around the world, was fascinated by early exploration of space.

“The launching of Sputnik was a call to action,” he said, referring to Russia’s 1954 launch of a satellite into orbit.

By the time Russia put the first man into space, Yuri Gagarin in 1961, he knew was charting his future.

Space became his dream but in order to realize it, he moved to the United States. He moved to Hartford, Conn., because distant relatives lived there and would give him a home. He learned English by repeating his senior year at Hartford High School and got a scholarship to the nearby University of Connecticut.

“That was the moment that opened the door to the American dream,” he said.

Diaz went on to get a doctorate in plasma physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

After getting his U.S. citizenship, he worked in private industry. In 1979, NASA announced it was looking for a new set of astronauts and Diaz applied. He was one of three out of 3,500 selected for the program. In 1980, he became an astronaut.

Diaz now owns Ad Astra Rocket Co., an advanced rocket technology company with operations in Texas and Costa Rica.

He said along the way he learned some important lessons.

“Keep trying, don’t give up, work hard, and believe in yourself,” he said.

Read more stories in Local news»»